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Prospective cohort studies linking organ meat consumption and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) are limited, especially in Asian populations. This study aimed to prospectively investigate the association between organ meat consumption and risk of NAFLD in a general Chinese adult population. This prospective cohort study included a total of 15,568 adults who were free of liver disease, cardiovascular disease, and cancer at baseline. Dietary information was collected at baseline using a validated food frequency questionnaire. NAFLD was diagnosed by abdominal ultrasound after excluding other causes related to chronic liver disease. Cox proportional regression models were used to assess the association between organ meat consumption and risk of NAFLD. During a median of 4.2 years of follow-up, we identified 3,604 incident NAFLD cases. After adjusting for demographic characteristics, lifestyle factors, vegetable, fruit, soft drink, seafood, and red meat consumption, the multivariable hazard ratios (95% confidence intervals) for incident NAFLD across consumption of organ meat were 1.00 (reference) for almost never, 1.04 (0.94, 1.15) for tertile 1, 1.08 (0.99, 1.19) for tertile 2, and 1.11 (1.01, 1.22) for tertile 3, respectively (P for trend <0.05). Such association did not differ substantially in the sensitivity analysis. Our study indicates that organ meat consumption was related to a modestly higher risk of NAFLD among Chinese adults. Further investigations are needed to confirm this finding.
Evidence of couples’ BMI and its influence on birth weight is limited and contradictory. Therefore, this study aims to assess the association between couple’s preconception BMI and the risk of small for gestational age (SGA)/large for gestational age (LGA) infant, among over 4·7 million couples in a retrospective cohort study based on the National Free Pre-pregnancy Checkups Project (NFPCP) between December 1, 2013 and November 30, 2016 in China. Among the live births, 256,718 (5·44%) SGA events and 506,495 (10·73%) LGA events were documented, respectively. After adjusting for confounders, underweight men had significantly higher risk [OR 1·17 95%CI (1·15-1·19)] of SGA infants compared with men with normal BMI, while a significant and increased risk of LGA infants was obtained for overweight and obese men [OR 1·08 (95% CI: 1·06-1·09); OR 1·19 (95%CI 1·17-1·20)] respectively. The restricted cubic spline (RCS) result revealed a non-linearly decreasing dose-response relationship of paternal BMI (less than 22·64) with SGA. Meanwhile, a non-linearly increasing dose-response relationship of paternal BMI (more than 22·92) with LGA infants was observed. Moreover, similar results about the association between maternal preconception BMI and SGA/LGA infants were obtained. Abnormal preconception BMIs in either women or men were associated with increased risk of SGA/LGA infants, respectively. Overall, couple’s abnormal weight before pregnancy may be an important preventable risk factor for SGA/LGA infants.
The quantum defect (QD) is an important issue that demands prompt attention in high-power fiber lasers. A large QD may aggravate the thermal load in the laser, which would impact the frequency, amplitude noise and mode stability, and threaten the security of the high-power laser system. Here, we propose and demonstrate a cladding-pumped Raman fiber laser (RFL) with QD of less than 1%. Using the Raman gain of the boson peak in a phosphorus-doped fiber to enable the cladding pump, the QD is reduced to as low as 0.78% with a 23.7 W output power. To our knowledge, this is the lowest QD ever reported in a cladding-pumped RFL. Furthermore, the output power can be scaled to 47.7 W with a QD of 1.29%. This work not only offers a preliminary platform for the realization of high-power low-QD fiber lasers, but also proves the great potential of low-QD fiber lasers in power scaling.
Neuroimaging- and machine-learning-based brain-age prediction of schizophrenia is well established. However, the diagnostic significance and the effect of early medication on first-episode schizophrenia remains unclear.
To explore whether predicted brain age can be used as a biomarker for schizophrenia diagnosis, and the relationship between clinical characteristics and brain-predicted age difference (PAD), and the effects of early medication on predicted brain age.
The predicted model was built on 523 diffusion tensor imaging magnetic resonance imaging scans from healthy controls. First, the brain-PAD of 60 patients with first-episode schizophrenia, 60 healthy controls and 21 follow-up patients from the principal data-set and 40 pairs of individuals in the replication data-set were calculated. Next, the brain-PAD between groups were compared and the correlations between brain-PAD and clinical measurements were analysed.
The patients showed a significant increase in brain-PAD compared with healthy controls. After early medication, the brain-PAD of patients decreased significantly compared with baseline (P < 0.001). The fractional anisotropy value of 31/33 white matter tract features, which related to the brain-PAD scores, had significantly statistical differences before and after measurements (P < 0.05, false discovery rate corrected). Correlation analysis showed that the age gap was negatively associated with the positive score on the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale in the principal data-set (r = −0.326, P = 0.014).
The brain age of patients with first-episode schizophrenia may be older than their chronological age. Early medication holds promise for improving the patient's brain ageing. Neuroimaging-based brain-age prediction can provide novel insights into the understanding of schizophrenia.
Primitive lamprophyres in orogenic belts can provide crucial insights into the nature of the subcontinental lithosphere and the relevant deep crust–mantle interactions. This paper reports a suite of relatively primitive lamprophyre dykes from the North Qiangtang, central Tibetan Plateau. Zircon U–Pb ages of the lamprophyre dykes range from 214 Ma to 218 Ma, with a weighted mean age of 216 ± 1 Ma. Most of the lamprophyre samples are similar in geochemical compositions to typical primitive magmas (e.g. high MgO contents, Mg no. values and Cr, with low FeOt/MgO ratios), although they might have experienced a slightly low degree of olivine crystallization, and they show arc-like trace-element patterns and enriched Sr–Nd isotopic composition ((87Sr/86Sr)i = 0.70538–0.70540, ϵNd(t) = −2.96 to −1.65). Those geochemical and isotopic variations indicate that the lamprophyre dykes originated from partial melting of a phlogopite- and spinel-bearing peridotite mantle modified by subduction-related aqueous fluids. Combining with the other regional studies, we propose that slab subduction might have occurred during Late Triassic time, and the rollback of the oceanic lithosphere induced the lamprophyre magmatism in the central Tibetan Plateau.
Schistosomiasis has been subjected to extensive control efforts in the People's Republic of China (China) which aims to eliminate the disease by 2030. We describe baseline results of a longitudinal cohort study undertaken in the Dongting and Poyang lakes areas of central China designed to determine the prevalence of Schistosoma japonicum in humans, animals (goats and bovines) and Oncomelania snails utilizing molecular diagnostics procedures. Data from the Chinese National Schistosomiasis Control Programme (CNSCP) were compared with the molecular results obtained.
Sixteen villages from Hunan and Jiangxi provinces were surveyed; animals were only found in Hunan. The prevalence of schistosomiasis in humans was 1.8% in Jiangxi and 8.0% in Hunan determined by real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR), while 18.3% of animals were positive by digital droplet PCR. The CNSCP data indicated that all villages harboured S. japonicum-infected individuals, detected serologically by indirect haemagglutination assay (IHA), but very few, if any, of these were subsequently positive by Kato-Katz (KK).
Based on the outcome of the IHA and KK results, the CNSCP incorporates targeted human praziquantel chemotherapy but this approach can miss some infections as evidenced by the results reported here. Sensitive molecular diagnostics can play a key role in the elimination of schistosomiasis in China and inform control measures allowing for a more systematic approach to treatment.
The present study evaluated effects of dietary supplementation with tryptophan (Trp) on muscle growth, protein synthesis and antioxidant capacity in hybrid catfish Pelteobagrus vachelli♀ × Leiocassis longirostris♂. Fish were fed six different diets containing 2·6 (control), 3·1, 3·7, 4·2, 4·7 and 5·6 g Trp/kg diet for 56 d, respectively. Results showed that dietary Trp significantly (1) improved muscle protein content, fibre density and frequency of fibre diameter; (2) up-regulated the mRNA levels of PCNA, myf5, MyoD1, MyoG, MRF4, IGF-I, IGF-II, IGF-IR, PIK3Ca, TOR, 4EBP1 and S6K1; (3) increased phosphorylation levels of AKT, TOR and S6K1; (4) decreased contents of MDA and PC, and increased activities of CAT, GST, GR, ASA and AHR; (5) up-regulated mRNA levels of CuZnSOD, CAT, GST, GPx, GCLC and Nrf2, and decreased Keap1 mRNA level; (6) increased nuclear Nrf2 protein level and the intranuclear antioxidant response element-binding ability, and reduced Keap1 protein level. These results indicated that dietary Trp improved muscle growth, protein synthesis as well as antioxidant capacity, which might be partly related to myogenic regulatory factors, IGF/PIK3Ca/AKT/TOR and Keap1/Nrf2 signalling pathways. Finally, based on the quadratic regression analysis of muscle protein and MDA contents, the optimal Trp requirements of hybrid catfish (21·82–39·64 g) were estimated to be 3·94 and 3·93 g Trp/kg diet (9·57 and 9·54 g/kg of dietary protein), respectively.
While many studies have investigated the effect of task complexity on L2 writing, little has been reported on the effects of intended task complexity manipulations on task-generated cognitive demands in L2 writing. This study, therefore, was designed to examine the relative effects of task complexity and cognitive demands on students’ L2 writing. Two argumentative writing tasks were manipulated with varying numbers of elements and reasoning demands to be distinguished either as a simple or complex writing task. Self-ratings and dual-task methodology were adopted to validate the manipulations of task complexity. Thirty-one L2 learners, in the single-task group, were asked to complete two writing tasks and a post-task questionnaire. Participants in the dual-task conditions (30 in Experimental 1 and 31 in Experimental 2) were required to simultaneously complete the primary writing tasks and the secondary tasks. Results from self-ratings and dual-task experiments supported the efficacy of the task complexity manipulations.
The oriental armyworm Mythimna separata (Walker) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) is a major migratory pest of cereal crops in East Asia, South Asia and Australia. To comprehensively understand the ecological tolerance of M. separata, we collected life table data of individuals from four consecutive generations reared under outdoor natural fluctuating temperatures from 15 April to 17 October 2018 in Yangling, Shaanxi, China. The results showed that the immature stage in early summer and summer were shorter than in spring and autumn. High mortality in late larval instar and pupal stages was observed in the summer generation. The adult pre-oviposition period in autumn was longer than the other seasons. The population in the earlier two seasons had heavier pupae and higher fecundity than the population in the latter two seasons. The intrinsic rate of increase and the finite rate of increase was the highest in early summer (r = 0.1292 day−1, λ = 1.1391 day−1), followed by spring (r = 0.1102 day−1, λ = 1.1165 day−1), and was the lowest in summer (r = 0.0281 day−1, λ = 1.0293 day−1). The results of this study would be useful to predict the population dynamics of M. separata and deepen our standing of the adaptiveness of this migratory pest in natural fluctuating ambient environments.
Anaemia is a global public health problem affecting women worldwide, and reproductive-age women are at increased risk. We conducted a population-based cross-sectional study analysing the prevalence of overall anaemia and anaemia according to severity in Chinese pre-pregnant women to update current knowledge on anaemia epidemiology. Based on the National Free Preconception Check-up Projects supported by the Chinese government, 5 679 782 women participating in this project in 2017 were included in the present study. The cyanmethemoglobin method was applied to assess Hb concentrations. Univariate and multivariate logistic regressions were applied for associated factors. The prevalence of anaemia among Chinese pre-pregnant women was 21·64 % (mild: 14·10 %, moderate: 7·17 % and severe : 0·37 %). The prevalence of overall and severe anaemia was the highest in Tibet and the lowest in Beijing among thirty-one provinces. Women’s age, region, ethnic origin, educational level, occupation and pregnancy history were all correlated with anaemia. Women with B blood type (adjusted OR (aOR) = 0·89), higher BMI (overweight: aOR = 0·84; obesity: aOR = 0·70) and alcohol consumption (aOR = 0·69) were less likely to have anaemia, while those with rhesus negative blood type (aOR = 1·10), history of anaemia (aOR = 2·60), older age at menarche (aOR = 1·19), heavy menstrual blood loss (aOR = 1·39), longer menstrual period (aOR = 1·09) and shorter menstrual cycle (aOR = 1·08) were more likely to suffer from anaemia. Meat or egg eaters were not significantly associated with severe anaemia. Anaemia is of moderate public health significance among Chinese pre-pregnant women. Interventions should be considered to prevent anaemia to the greatest extent possible to avoid potential harm in this population.
Salicylic acid (SA), a phytohormone, has been considered to be a key regulator mediating plant defence against pathogens. It is still vague how SA activates plant defence against herbivores such as chewing and sucking pests. Here, we used an aphid-susceptible wheat variety to investigate Sitobion avenae response to SA-induced wheat plants, and the effects of exogenous SA on some defence enzymes and phenolics in the plant immune system. In SA-treated wheat seedlings, intrinsic rate of natural increase (rm), fecundity and apterous rate of S. avenae were 0.25, 31.4 nymphs/female and 64.4%, respectively, and significantly lower than that in the controls (P < 0.05). Moreover, the increased activities of phenylalanine-ammonia-lyase, polyphenol oxidase (PPO) and peroxidase in the SA-induced seedlings obviously depended on the sampling time, whereas activities of catalase and 4-coumarate:CoA ligase were suppressed significantly at 24, 48 and 72 h in comparison with the control. Dynamic levels of p-coumaric acid at 96 h, caffeic acid at 24 and 72 h and chlorogenic acid at 24, 48 and 96 h in wheat plants were significantly upregulated by exogenous SA application. Nevertheless, only caffeic acid content was positively correlated with PPO activity in SA-treated wheat seedlings (P = 0.031). These findings indicate that exogenous SA significantly enhanced the defence of aphid-susceptible wheat variety against aphids by regulating the plant immune system, and may prove a potential application of SA in aphid control.
We investigate the dynamics of a self-rewetting drop placed on a substrate with a constant temperature gradient via three-dimensional numerical simulations using a conservative level-set approach to track the interface of the drop. The surface tension of a so-called self-rewetting fluid exhibits a parabolic dependence on temperature with a well-defined minimum. Two distinct drop behaviours, namely deformation and elongation, are observed when it is placed at the location of the minimum surface tension. The drop spreads slightly and reaches a pseudo-steady state in the deformation regime, while it continuously spreads until breakup in the elongation regime. Theoretical models based on the forces exerted on the drop have been developed to predict the critical condition at which the drop undergoes the transition between the two regimes, and the predictions are in good agreement with the numerical results. We also investigate the effect of the initial position of the drop with respect to the location of the minimum surface tension on the spreading and migration dynamics. It is found that, at early times, the migration of the drop obeys an exponential function with time, but it diverges at the later stage due to an increase in the drop deformation.
Cystic echinococcosis (CE) occurs in the intermediate host's liver, assuming a bladder-like structure surrounded by the host-derived collagen capsule mainly derived from activated hepatic stellate cells (HSCs). However, the effect of CE on liver natural killer (NK) cells and the potential of transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) signalling inhibition on alleviating CE-related liver damage remain to be explored. Here, by using the CE-mouse model, we revealed that the inhibitory receptors on the surface of liver NK cells were up-regulated, whereas the activating receptors were down-regulated over time. TGF-β1 secretion was elevated in liver tissues and mainly derived from macrophages. A combination of TGF-β signalling inhibitors SB525334 and pirfenidone could reduce the expression of TGF-β1 signalling pathway-related proteins and collagen production. Based on the secretion of TGF-β1, only the pirfenidone group showed a depressing effect. Also, the combination of SB525334 and pirfenidone exhibited a higher potential in effectively alleviating the senescence of the hepatocytes and restoring liver function. Together, TGF-β1 may be a potential target for the treatment of CE-associated liver fibrosis.
Hypertension represents one of the most common pre-existing conditions and comorbidities in Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients. To explore whether hypertension serves as a risk factor for disease severity, a multi-centre, retrospective study was conducted in COVID-19 patients. A total of 498 consecutively hospitalised patients with lab-confirmed COVID-19 in China were enrolled in this cohort. Using logistic regression, we assessed the association between hypertension and the likelihood of severe illness with adjustment for confounders. We observed that more than 16% of the enrolled patients exhibited pre-existing hypertension on admission. More severe COVID-19 cases occurred in individuals with hypertension than those without hypertension (21% vs. 10%, P = 0.007). Hypertension associated with the increased risk of severe illness, which was not modified by other demographic factors, such as age, sex, hospital geological location and blood pressure levels on admission. More attention and treatment should be offered to patients with underlying hypertension, who usually are older, have more comorbidities and more susceptible to cardiac complications.
The superfluorescent fiber source (SFS) with tunable optical spectrum has shown great application potential in the sensing, imaging, and spectral combination. Here, we demonstrate for the first time a 2-kW-level wavelength and linewidth tunable SFS. Based on a flexible filtered SFS seed and three stages of fiber amplifiers, the output power can be scaled from the milliwatt level to about 2 kW, with a wavelength tuning range of 1068–1092 nm and a linewidth tuning range of 2.5–9.7 nm. Moreover, a numerical simulation is conducted based on the generalized nonlinear Schrödinger equation, and the results reveal that the wavelength tuning range is limited by the decrease of seed power and the growth of amplified spontaneous emission, whereas the linewidth tuning range is determined by the gain competition and nonlinear Kerr effects. The developed wavelength and linewidth tunable SFS may be applied to scientific research and industrial processing.
Lipopolysaccharides (LPS) could induce milk fat depression via regulating the body and blood fat metabolism. However, it is not completely clear how LPS might regulate triglyceride synthesis in dairy cow mammary epithelial cells (DCMECs). DCMECs were isolated and purified from dairy cow mammary tissue and treated with LPS. The level of triglyceride synthesis, the expression and activity of the liver X receptor α (LXRα), enzymes related to de novo fatty acid synthesis, and the expression of the fatty acid transporters were investigated. We found that LPS decreased the level of triglyceride synthesis via a down-regulation of the transcription, translation, and nuclear translocation level of the LXRα. The results also indicated that the transcription level of the LXRα target genes, sterol regulatory element binding protein 1 (SREBP1), fatty acid synthetase (FAS), acetyl-CoA carboxylase-1 (ACC1), were significantly down-regulated in DCMECs after LPS treatment. Our data may provide new insight into the mechanisms of milk fat depression caused by LPS.
The mortality of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) differs between countries and regions. This study aimed to clarify the clinical characteristics of imported and second-generation cases in Shaanxi. This study included 134 COVID-19 cases in Shaanxi outside Wuhan. Clinical data were compared between severe and non-severe cases. We further profiled the dynamic laboratory findings of some patients. In total, 34.3% of the 134 patients were severe cases, 11.2% had complications. As of 7 March 2020, 91.8% patients were discharged and one patient (0.7%) died. Age, lymphocyte count, C-reactive protein, erythrocyte sedimentation rate, direct bilirubin, lactate dehydrogenase and hydroxybutyrate dehydrogenase showed difference between severe and no-severe cases (all P < 0.05). Baseline lymphocyte count was higher in survived patients than in non-survivor case, and it increased as the condition improved, but declined sharply when death occurred. The interleukin-6 (IL-6) level displayed a downtrend in survivors, but rose very high in the death case. Pulmonary fibrosis was found on later chest computed tomography images in 51.5% of the pneumonia cases. Imported and second-generation cases outside Wuhan had a better prognosis than initial cases in Wuhan. Lymphocyte count and IL-6 level could be used for evaluating prognosis. Pulmonary fibrosis as the sequelae of COVID-19 should be taken into account.
The structural changes recent-onset posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) subjects were rarely investigated. This study was to compare temporal and causal relationships of structural changes in recent-onset PTSD with trauma-exposed control (TEC) subjects and non-TEC subjects.
T1-weighted magnetic resonance images of 27 PTSD, 33 TEC and 30 age- and sex-matched healthy control (HC) subjects were studied. The causal network of structural covariance was used to evaluate the causal relationships of structural changes in PTSD patients.
Volumes of bilateral hippocampal and left lingual gyrus were significantly smaller in PTSD patients and TEC subjects than HC subjects. As symptom scores increase, reduction in gray matter volume began in the hippocampus and progressed to the frontal lobe, then to the temporal and occipital cortices (p < 0.05, false discovery rate corrected). The hippocampus might be the primary hub of the directional network and demonstrated positive causal effects on the frontal, temporal and occipital regions (p < 0.05, false discovery rate corrected). The frontal regions, which were identified to be transitional points, projected causal effects to the occipital lobe and temporal regions and received causal effects from the hippocampus (p < 0.05, false discovery rate corrected).
The results offer evidence of localized abnormalities in the bilateral hippocampus and remote abnormalities in multiple temporal and frontal regions in typhoon-exposed PTSD patients.